There’s nothing like a film to activate a desire to travel, whether it’s the feel of the entire movie or one particular scene that stays with you long after the credits stop rolling. When a production makes the filming location the star of the show, you might suddenly find yourself googling filming locations and searching for flights.
Which movie or TV show has inspired your travels? Here, Lonely Planet staffers share the destinations that have jumped off the screen and onto their travel wish lists.
The White Lotus: Sicily, Italy
The second season of The White Lotus is a love letter to Sicily. All the scenes and locations are gorgeous, from the palazzos to Palermo’s streets. This show has definitely moved Sicily up on my future travel list.
– Matt Paco, Video Producer
My Brilliant Friend: Naples, Italy
The HBO adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s best-selling novel about childhood friends in postwar Naples is arguably one of the most beautiful shows on TV. The cinematography is sublime, and pulls the viewer into the lives of the characters who live there. You develop intense, fleeting relationships with them, moving with them as they navigate the city’s frenetic backstreets, grungy neighborhoods and well-heeled piazzas. Everything feels vibrant, loud and lived-in. I visited Naples last year and it was just as spellbinding in real life as it is on screen.
– Sasha Brady, Digital Editor
I’m Off Then: Camino del Santiago, Spain & Portugal
A lot of people get inspired to do the Camino from Martin Sheen’s trek in The Way – but my introduction to the famous pilgrimage route came from watching I’m Off Then on German Netflix while I lived in Berlin. The show, based on the book by Hape Kerkeling, made the prospect of doing this epic journey simply dazzling. I finally got to take on the Portuguese section this past year, and it absolutely did not disappoint.
– Melissa Yeager, Senior News Editor
Thelma and Louise: Utah, USA
Fans will know that the fictional Thelma and Louise didn’t make it to Utah when their road trip to a cabin turned into them being fugitives on the run from the law – but much of the real-life movie was filmed in the western state. The movie’s dusty desert and wild sandstone vistas never fail to amaze me. I want to hit the open road and have my own adventure through the Utah landscapes seen in the film.
– Sandie Kestell, Senior Editor
Gomorrah: Naples, Italy
I am deep into this gritty drama set in Le Vele, a housing project in Naples built in the 1960s that resembles ships’ sails. The effect is majestic (there is similar and much sought-after real estate on the French Riviera). Le Vele, however, became the drug capital of Europe, and today lies abandoned and is in the process of being demolished. I would love to see these unique buildings before they are finally torn down.
– Fin McCarthy, Editorial Director
The Sound of Music: Salzburg, Austria
Ever since I first saw The Sound of Music as a kid, I longed to visit Salzburg, Austria. I finally got to visit it when I did a road trip around Europe with my husband and dog six years ago. We even got to stay at Schloss Leopoldskron, the gilded palace that was the fictional home of Captain von Trapp.
– Matt Paco, Video Producer
While I have no business actually scaling Mt Everest, I think it would be possible and much safer for me to at least trek up to base camp. It’s been on my list for years, and I want to get to it sooner than later while I’m still on the younger side and remain crazy enough to spend 12 or more days at an uncomfortable altitude.
– Zoe Jablow, Engineering Manager
The Marseille Trilogy: Marseille, France
I love Jean-Claude Izzo’s books in general, and his trilogy of detective stories set in Marseille is my favorite. They embody the city’s gritty, time-worn essence, and reading them makes me want to sit on a rocky corniche at sunset with a glass of pastis.
– Laura Motta, Senior Director of Content
I’m not sure I should be looking to a horror film for inspiration (and I know some of the film was shot in Hungary) but...I have yet to time my trips to Scandinavia to coincide with whimsical Midsommar celebrations. What’s not to love about a never-ending party where you don flower garlands, dance your cares away and drink schnapps? Seriously, this is something I need to make happen...just without the murder-y bits.
– Chris Zeihar, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing